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Christina Cavallo

The article mentions how most Americans own little to no stock and that their main asset is their home. I understand why this could lead to the scary statistics of the gaps, but could you elaborate on why this is the case? Is it just because these groups have less money to put into investments? Would it be better for people to start buying stocks even if they don't have much money to begin with? The article talks about the increase of inequality from 1980, but could you elaborate on what lead to this? It mentioned that our medical system is expensive/inefficient which causes the gap of health and that sharp cuts in states' spending on higher education leads to the gap of education, but does the gap of income have a root cause or is it just a result of an accumulation of many different policy choices?

Patrick Rooney

Similar to Christina, I was curious on what led to this inequality among classes in America. Additionally, the article spoke about the declining life span of Americans, and how that was due to our health care system. I was wondering how we could better restructure the health care system, and minimize the inequality between classes.

Harper Darden

Also going off of Christina's question about stocks: do you think that if more people invested in the stock market it could generally help minimize wealth gaps? We talked a little about trusting the stock market in class, but do you think that part of the problem is that people don't trust the stock market enough and that the high risk part of investing outweighs the high reward? I think that, if this is the case, then the pandemic and consecutive recession will not encourage more investing because of how many Americans suffered from the stock market crash. In terms of health, I wonder if a lot of the inequality arises because of lower income people having more health problems because of bad food. Healthy food is much more expensive than fast food, and if money is tight then that may be a sacrifice families choose to make. This could contribute to high health care costs and create a cycle with the inefficiencies of our current healthcare system. Do you have any policy suggestions for how to make it more efficient? In terms of education, I think it is amazing that many more students have the opportunity to attend college, even if not for all four years. It would be great if we could destigmatize dropping out of college for financial reasons or other extenuating circumstances and allow students to still benefit from the credits and education they earned. I don't think this even has to diminish the prestige of earning a degree. It would just develop a middle ground for more students to benefit. Finally, the last graph of the article talks about how American's generally think the country is headed in the "wrong direction." Does that have a more specific meaning such as politically or economically or is it just a general sentiment?


I had similar questions to Harper. The most unsettling aspect of the article, in my opinion, was the healthcare section. Food insecurity is a huge problem that many low income Americans face. Do you think because healthy foods are more expensive that this leads to a lack in nutrition and worsening health problems? I know there are great resources like community gardens, food kitchens, etc, but there is more we can be doing as a country to combat this crisis. What would that look like?

Savannah Corey

First, similar to Patrick, I am wondering if there is a way for the United States to restructure our medical system to make treatments and drugs more accessible to lower-income individuals. Why doesn't America have a universal healthcare system like most advanced, industrialized countries? In addition, I thought that this fact was very interesting "the richest 0.1 percent now have the same combined net worth as the bottom 85 percent." Therefore, I am confused as to why state governments are making budget cuts in the higher education sector if college degrees seemingly increase the economic mobility of lower-income individuals, allow them to attain higher paying jobs, and help create a stable family life?

Kit Lombard

This article expands the worry over the economic stimulus package being implemented. If businesses alone are receiving most of the economic relief, then the higher business owners are going to be benefiting substantially more than the workers. There is already a sense of disconnect between CEOs and workers, so I cannot imagine them making decisions solely for the purpose of their employees. I am confused on our health situation. We are technologically advance and yet our life span is no longer rising. Is it truly based on economic factors or possibly political regulation with our processed foods and other outside factors? The one thing I would have liked was for the article to give a quantitative value on who the wealthy are, as in an actually income provided rather than a percentage. This would just provide some further clarity on who is benefiting and who is not.

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